Q: I’d like some advice on how to teach my children the halachah that one is allowed to distort the truth for the sake of peace, and that in some cases one may even lie in order to avoid rechilus and strife. How can I teach this to my children without affecting how they value truth?
A: “Mishpitei Hashem emes tzadku yachdav.” The Torah is Toras emes, and the seal of Hashem is truth (Zohar). Nevertheless, Chazal teach us “mutar lishanos mipnei hashalom — that sometimes one may lie for the sake of peace. (Swearing falsely is never allowed.) Inasmuch as the advantages of shalom are endless and Hashem truly desires that we live in peace, we may distort the truth for the sake of harmony, because Hashem dwells where shalom reigns.
A case in point being the Sotah, where Hashem agreed to have His holy Name erased for the sake of keeping peace between man and wife. If explained from this angle, children will accept it and grow in their understanding of truth and shalom. The truth in the explanation of this halachah will protect children from misconceptions in their values.
The questions and answers above were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please email us at email@example.com or call 972-2 5379160.
The views expressed are of the individual author. Readers are encouraged to consult their own posek for guidance.